Last month on the MOP Podcast, we tackled a question from a reader named Aaron who was musing on whether modern MMOs could learn anything about monetization from the City of Heroes’ revival. The observation was that because the current rogue servers for City of Heroes are fan projects funded by donations, they’ve thrown open the doors on customization. The game’s maintainers have no incentive to design for lockboxes or gate cosmetic content, unlike Paragon, and so gamers have gone wild designing the characters of their dreams rather than worrying about whether they’ll be nickel-and-dimed for a new pair of gloves or a sparkle aura.
And that’s an experience that seems uniquely suited to old-school subscriptions, right? Here’s Aaron’s question: “Do you think it might be a viable business model to use a subscription model, such that if you have a current subscription, all costume and character creator options are unlocked for you (including whatever new content comes out), and if you do not have a subscription, you have a very basic palette of character choices and models?”
In 2019, would you pay a subscription purely for full and future access to all cosmetics in a an MMO?